Summer's here: fun and games dominate TV ratings

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The calendar may not say summer yet, but the fun and games dominant onscreen mean the season has already begun for television networks.

Competition shows or sporting events accounted for 14 of the 20 most-watched programs last week, the Nielsen company said. This is programming most likely to be watched live, giving them the advantage over scripted programming that is often watched on a time-delayed basis.

Three telecasts of “The Voice” on NBC landed in the top 20, along with three prime-time editions of “The Price is Right” on CBS featuring the casts of CBS programs.

The NBA’s Western Conference finals between Golden State and Oklahoma City was clearly the audience’s choice over the Cleveland-Toronto series in the East. Game seven of the Warriors-Thunder series on Memorial Day proved to be the most-watched program in the TNT network’s 28-year history.

NBC won the week in prime time, averaging 5.1 million viewers, and also won among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic advertisers seek. CBS averaged 4.84 million viewers, ABC had 4.75 million, Fox had 3.2 million, Univision had 1.8 million, the CW had 1.5 million, Telemundo had 1.3 million and ION Television had 1.2 million.

TNT was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 3.29 million viewers in prime time. ESPN had 2.6 million, Fox News Channel had 1.79 million, USA had 1.5 million and HGTV had 1.34 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.8 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.4 million.

For the week of May 23-29, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “Dancing With the Stars” (Monday), ABC, 12.34 million; NBA Playoffs: Golden State at Oklahoma City, Game Six, TNT, 10.81 million; “The Voice” (Tuesday, 9 p.m.), NBC, 10.59 million; “Dancing With the Stars” (Tuesday), ABC, 10.49 million; “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 10.26 million; NBA Playoffs: Oklahoma City at Golden State, Game Five, TNT, 10 million; NBA Playoffs: Golden State at Oklahoma City, Game Four, TNT, 8.63 million; “The Voice” (Tuesday, 8 p.m.), NBC, 7.61 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 7.29 million; “Law & Order: SVU,” NBC, 7.19 million.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.